Netanyahu meets local Arab leaders to lay out plan to defeat rising crime

“We will use all of our force, intelligence, means, police, intelligence and technology,” he added.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with local council heads of the Arab community on Sunday to discuss his proposal to defeat violence and crime in Arab society.

“It cannot be that in our state people fear to walk the streets. This embitters your lives. I am certain that there are threats against you, against all of you,” Netanyahu said at the meeting.

“We want to submit a genuinely comprehensive plan for a war on crime and violence in Arab society. This is a very vigorous fight but victory is within our grasp. We can do this, I am completely certain of it,” Netanyahu said.

“We will use all of our force, intelligence, means, police, intelligence and technology,” he added.

There has been an uptick in violent crime among Israeli-Arabs over the last couple of years. Illegal weapons are common and clashes between Arab crime families have become more brazen.

Most recently, two Arab men were shot in Jaffa in the middle of the day with a criminal motive suspected. In late December, in a revenge killing, a car was machine-gunned and two killed on Highway 6 despite being escorted by three police cruisers.

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Israeli Arab Knesset leaders have blamed Israeli inaction for the violence. However, in October 2019 then-Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said Arab society and culture must take responsibility for its own shortcomings.

“Arab society, and I say that with sadness, is a very violent society,” he said. “It’s connected to the culture there. A lot of disputes that end here with a lawsuit, there they pull out a knife and gun.”

Arab MKs immediately blasted Erdan for racism.

Netanyahu’s focus on the Arab community of late is part of an outreach to win their votes ahead of the March 23 election. He told a Likud Party meeting recently that he is courting the Arab vote.